Helen Mirren: ‘I absolutely love costume’

Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen discuss Mirren’s role in new HBO series “Catherine the Great” and what makes the historical character fascinating. (Nov. 13)

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The Voting War In North Carolina | VICE on HBO

Arnold Schwarzenegger discusses how gerrymandering affects Congress — and a potential solution.

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ShowBiz Minute: Witherspoon, ‘GoT’, Martin

“Friday” actor-comedian John Witherspoon dies at 77; HBO orders 10 episodes of “Game of Thrones” prequel; Ricky Martin announces birth of 4th child. (Oct. 30)

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New doc examines lifting Saudi ban on female drivers

Shahad Alhomaizy drives an Uber. That’s not odd, except that she works for the ridesharing service in Saudi Arabia, a nation that recently changed its longstanding ban on female drivers. Female drivers in the cradle of Islam are the subject of a new HBO documentary. (Oct. 29)

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The Fight For a Kurdish State I VICE on HBO

The Kurds have played an instrumental role in the fight against ISIS. Although their case for independence is rarely made, the Kurds are the largest ethnic group in the world without a state of their own. They’re also one of the only peoples to suffer an attempted genocide since the Holocaust.

In Iraqi Kurdistan, Vice’s Ben Anderson met those involved in the fight from the frontline to the Kurd’s former guerrilla president to ask why the group recently voted for independence and what hopes they have for achieving a state of their own.

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‘Game of Thrones’ stars party at HBO event

“Game of Thrones” stars react to the hit show winning best drama at the Emmys at the post-show HBO party in Los Angeles. (Sept. 23)

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Emmys : Game of Thrones stars walk the red carpet | AFP

Stars of Game of Thrones walk the red carpet before the ceremony of the Emmys Awards. For its final season, the HBO show got 32 nominations at the Emmy Awards. IMAGES

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Quinta Brunson on ‘A Black Lady Sketch Show’ and internet fame

Quinta Brunson, who rose to fame through social media comedy, discusses why HBO’s “A Black Lady Sketch Show” is “groundbreaking.” She also looks back on her viral “He Got Money” skit. (Sept. 5)

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8Chan: Hate and the Internet (Trailer) | VICE News Tonight on HBO Special Report

How did 8chan become a place where nazis thrive, mass shooters post their manifestos, and users celebrate those shooters in real-time?

On a VICE News Tonight special report, Elle Reeve meets the man who created it. He says “it should never come back.”

Watch it tonight at 7:30 PM EST on HBO.

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Escaping The Kingdom | VICE News Special Report (Trailer)

Two Saudi sisters fled from their family while on vacation in June. They went into hiding, fearing their father could have them sent back. We were with them as they tried to complete their daring escape.

Watch Escaping The Kingdom. Friday at 7:30 PM EST on HBO.

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Roxane Gay’s Book Club: The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

Here’s some amazing news: Roxane Gay has a book club.

This time, we’re talking Colson Whitehead’s new book “The Nickel Boys” with Mira Jacob, Mike Eagle and Debbie Millman

Watch the full segment from VICE News Tonight on HBO here!

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The Storming of Hong Kong’s Parliament (HBO)

Hong Kong authorities declared their ransacked halls of government “a big crime scene” Tuesday, as they began the process of investigating and repairing the damage caused by Monday’s protests. But for the city’s pro-democracy movement, the response to Monday’s unprecedented storming of the government headquarters looks a lot messier.

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Inside NYC’s Pride March — And The Movements Pushing Back (HBO)

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Black Students In Virginia Spent Months Archiving Images Of White People In Blackface (HBO)

After a few months of searching through Virginia yearbooks for people in blackface, a group of students had cataloged over 380 examples of offensive images and words — ranging from the less-surprising in the 1920s to the ’70s.

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The Case for Reparations Goes To Congress (HBO)

Ta-Nehisi Coates and Danny Glover testified about reparations in Washington on Juneteeth and debated whether we should just cut checks to the descendants of slaves or invest in social services that help them.

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Louisiana Is Getting an Unlimited Supply of a $24K Hep C Cure (HBO)

Louisiana has struck a deal to improve access to a Hepatitis C cure so expensive that some people only acquire the drug once they already have liver damage.

Gilead Sciences, the owner of Hepatitis C cure Epclusa, will now provide an unlimited supply of the generic version of the drug to people covered by Medicaid and in Louisiana’s state prisons. Asegua, a subsidiary of Gilead making the generic, will supply the drugs.

The list price of Epclusa is $74,760; the generic is priced at $24,000. Medicaid receives a discount price, but in many states, including Louisiana, Medicaid only approves the treatment after Hepatitis C causes severe liver damage because of its astronomical cost.

Under the deal, dubbed the “Netflix model,” Louisiana will pay for the Hep C cure up to a negotiated spending cap in exchange for an unlimited supply of the drug over five years. The state will then receive a rebate from Gilead for all its expenses above that cap.

The Louisiana Department of Health first chose Gilead as a partner for the deal back in March, after three drug companies submitted proposals to the state. Since then, negotiations stalled, to the point that the agreement nearly fell through entirely. But this week, the deal closed, Louisiana Secretary of Health Rebekah Gee confirmed to VICE News.

Gee said she hoped to not spend more than $30 million — the cost of treating only 326 people last year, according to the state’s Department of Health. The pricing cap won’t be announced until next week, but Gee told VICE News that Gilead agreed to a higher amount than that. Louisiana will hold an official signing on the deal next week, according to Gee.

“We need to get our money’s worth,” Gee said. “Our goal is 10,000 [treated people] next year, but we’ll have to hit a lot less than that to make it work.”

Gee estimated that around 40,000 people in Louisiana suffer from Hepatitis C, a chronic liver disease spread through blood. It’s the most widespread infectious disease in the U.S. The CDC estimates 2.4 million people in the U.S. were living with Hep C in 2016, the latest year with data available.

Louisiana hopes to use the deal to attempt to eliminate the disease entirely.

As Hep C most commonly spreads through shared needles, the opioid epidemic has only made its prevalence worse. The CDC estimates that 41,200 people were infected in 2016.

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Why Hong Kong Won’t Back Down (HBO)

An estimated two million Hong Kongers marched on Sunday — rejecting their Chief Executives apology regarding a now-delayed extradition bill and police violence.

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Eric Holder Is On A Mission To Make You Care About Gerrymandering (HBO)

Former Attorney General Eric Holder was in South Carolina and Iowa this past week but he insists he is not running for president. He made a joke of it at an event at a Baptist church in Columbia, SC.

“I think I’m the only national Democrat who’s not running for president at this point. So you know I’m unique,” Holder said.

Instead, he’s visiting early primary states to try to inject a very dry topic of gerrymandering, which is the manipulation of political boundaries to aid one party, into the election.

For Holder, this mission has its roots in the 2010 election. That’s the one where the Democrats lost the House, lost seats in the Senate and had almost no influence in the state legislatures that went on to re-district in 2011. In 2017, former president Barack Obama and Holder launched the National Democratic Redistricting Committee to promote a “comprehensive redistricting strategy.”

The fundraising arm of the NDRC raised $2.5 million in 2018 and has donated a lot of that money to state-level candidates and state parties.

Holder said it’s paying off. Last election cycle, five states had ballot initiatives that were designed to make the redistricting process more fair.

Holder is attempting to make sure the two dozen democratic presidential hopefuls connect the dots between gerrymandered districts and their own presidential ambitions.

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Why Hong Kong Is Rising Up (HBO)

For the second time in four days, Hong Kong was brought to a standstill by mass protests over a controversial extradition bill that threatens to chip away at the city’s diminishing semi-independence from China.

The demonstrations earned protesters a brief victory: the delay of a second reading of the bill. But tensions soon boiled over, when police fired rubber bullets and teargas to clear protesters from the streets, injuring dozens and further stoking outrage between the city’s pro-Beijing government and its residents.

Wednesday night’s events follow one of the biggest public protests in Hong Kong’s history, when more than one million people, about one-seventh of the population, swarmed the city’s streets on Sunday.

Read: Hong Kong protesters tell us why this might be their “last chance” to defy Beijing

At the center of the public’s fury is a proposed law that would allow China to extradite people from Hong Kong to the mainland. The bill has come to symbolize growing fear that the region, long-viewed as a separate entity from mainland China, is losing its autonomy under Beijing’s encroaching authoritarianism. They have reason to be concerned.

When the UK handed the island back to China in 1997, Hong Kong was promised freedoms of speech, press and assembly under its Basic Law — which effectively serves as the islands constitution and differentiates it from the mainland. But in recent years, Beijing has begun to impose its will on Hong Kong, slowly eroding those freedoms in a bid to bring the region more firmly under its control.

“I reminisce about the period of British rule. I was born and brought up in Hong Kong” Wong Fung Yiu, a 63 year old retiree at Sunday’s march told VICE News. “Human rights were better back in that time, compared to what we have nowadays. I have no trust in Mainland China.”

Despite the delays, Carrie Lam, the island’s pro-Beijing Chief Executive, has vowed to push the bill through the government saying further delays would only cause more “anxiety and divisiveness in society.”

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What Joe Biden’s Flip-Flop On The Hyde Amendment Means For The Democratic Party (HBO)

Joe Biden no longer wants to be the only 2020 Democrat who supports a controversial rule to block federal funding for most abortions.

Biden said Thursday night that he doesn’t support the Hyde Amendment, a restriction added to the federal budget annually that prevents any money from going toward abortions — except in cases of rape, incest, or serious threats to the mother’s health. The U-turn comes just a day after his campaign told the New York Times Wednesday that he was still in favor of the rule.

Biden’s initial support made him the only 2020 candidate to come out in favor of Hyde, while a slew of his 2020 opponents — including the top three female candidates — almost immediately reiterated that they wanted to do away with the rule entirely.

On Wednesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren flat-out called Biden’s original stance wrong and pointed out that Hyde most directly affected low-income women through Medicaid.

“Understand this: Women of means will still have access to abortions,” Warren said during an MSNBC town hall Wednesday night. “Who won’t will be poor women.”

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Cory Booker all doubled down this week as well and said they support repealing Hyde. Abortion groups, too, quickly came after Biden’s support for the law.

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American and German Veterans Reveal The True Horrors Of D-Day (HBO)

George Ciampa had never left the United States before being drafted into the army to fight Nazi Germany in 1944. But at 18-years-old, he was on the shores of Normandy in France, collecting the dead.

Paul Golz was a reluctant 19-year-old with the German army, sent to Normandy to try and block the Allied invasion. He was tasked with carrying ammunition for a machine gun crew.

Seventy-five years later, both men mark the living memory of one of the most significant moments of the 20th century. And as world leaders gathered in Normandy Thursday to mark the enduring legacy of D-Day, these men, both now in their 90s, recounted what it was like.

“The government didn’t want bodies lying around for other troops coming in to see,” Ciampa told VICE News from his home in Palm Springs. “We gathered them as quickly as we could.”

Before he could bury the dead, Ciampa had to survive landing at Utah Beach.

“You’re seeing guys getting hit. You’re seeing bodies,” he said. “I was scared to death, tell you the truth.”

Golz was 14 years old when he heard the German army had marched into Poland. By 19 he’d been drafted into that same army.

“I saw the American wounded,” he told VICE News from the village of Königswinter in Germany. “The German wounded, I didn’t really notice them until I heard them scream: ‘Comrade, help me.’ That’s when I understood ‘the hero’s’ death. Nobody wants to die a hero’s death. Those are all young kids who want to live.”

Ciampa and Golz represent the thinning ranks of soldiers from both sides of the war that are still alive to tell the story of the largest military invasion in history. They hope their legacy lives beyond their generation.

“I do think that we have to tell these stories,” said Golz. “These young people, who haven’t experienced it, they have to realize that because of this successful invasion, we have had 70 years of peace. They should always preserve that, preserve the democracy that we gained because of it.”

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What’s Happening To Puerto Rico Without The Delayed Disaster Aid (HBO)

Maria Cruz-Vega can sometimes hear the foundation creaking when she’s in bed at night. There are holes in her floor—and her walls—and she prays the blue-tarp roof that covers her home won’t collapse on her and her family. Nearly 30,000 households in Puerto Rico are still living like this, literally without a real roof over their heads almost two years after Hurricane Maria hit the island. So far, Cruz-Vega has only received about $3,000 from FEMA.

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Why Presidential Candidate Seth Moulton Revealed His PTSD (HBO)

You’ve probably never heard of Rep. Seth Moulton, the 20th candidate to enter the presidential race. VICE News spent 48 hours with him.

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What It’s Like To Chase A UFO (HBO)

WINDHAM, N.H. — In 2004, David Fravor, then a Lt. Commander and aviator in the U.S. Navy, saw something in the skies he’d never seen before. He wasn’t sure what it was, but he decided to follow it in his F/A-18 Super Hornet, and became convinced that the object’s maneuvering could not be explained by the existing capabilities of modern aircraft.

“It was far beyond the technology that we have,” he told VICE News.

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